Bas Mooy is a world renowned name in the Techno scene and the owner of Mord, one of the biggest techno imprints around. We caught up with Bas before his show in Opium Rooms to talk about the label, his Rotterdam influence and what the future holds
Mord is now one of the finest and most recognisable Techno labels in the scene. What where your expectations for the label when it first began?
In all honesty, I didn’t really have any expectations. Of course you hope a new project will become a success, but starting Mord was mostly something I really needed personally.
A new fresh start with total control of the whole process and project by just me. It felt really good to cross some bandwidth borders and start something completely new to shake up some things. When I started Mord I didn’t have a clear direction of where the sound should be going, so I just followed my taste and released music I like myself, without compromising in any way.
Mord has releases from great artists like Ansome, Clouds, Oscar Mulero and our hometown hero Sunil Sharpe, each with their own individual sound that brings something unique to each release. What stands out for you in a track when you are sent demos for the label?
Basically I judge demos the same way as when I was digging for records back in the day, or listening to promos right now.
I usually skip through them quite fast, since I usually immediately know if I want to sign something or not. Those decisions based on a gut feeling are usually made pretty fast. I try to avoid looking at someone’s status or name etc, although some people make it really easy to not stand a chance the way they deliver a demo at your doorstep. It might be a good idea to lounge a ‘Demo Manifest’ at some point. Some people destroy their own chances before I even listened to their music.
Since we are getting 10-15 demos every day I’ve experienced a wide variety of introductions.
Demo senders take note: be polite, don’t send your demo to fifty labels in the same email, be patient, be selective. You only have one shot at making a good first impression. Treat a label the way you would treat a girl you just met… just be a gentleman I guess!
Some people may or may not know that yourself and Jeroen Liebregts, aka Radial, started up Audio Assault which mainly focuses on vinyl releases. What’s your opinion on the resurrection of vinyl and how massive it is with the younger generation?
It’s good to see vinyl sales are better again, but in all honesty there’s no really resurrection of vinyl on stage, since 99 per cent of the touring DJs don’t play with vinyl.
One of the biggest reasons for that is the poor quality of vinyl set ups at most venues. It’s pretty tough being a vinyl jock on the road. The sad thing is that the so called ‘resurrection’ of vinyl and the current hype of rockbands that want to be pressed on vinyl again, is that the underground scene, that has been supporting the format and keeping it alive for the past 10 years when nobody was interested, are having most issues with this right now.
It takes almost four months for a release to be manufactured at the moment, which makes it really hard to run a techno vinyl label right now. Anyway, maybe at some point people start to play it again, but at the moment conditions are just not good enough. I’m really happy though that people collect vinyl again, since that will keep it alive, also when the hipsters dropped it again… It’s nice to build a catalogue with an actually product instead of digital files.
Let’s hope at some point conditions for playing vinyl at gigs get better and we all start spinning the wax again, since those who did before know how great it is to actually play with vinyl. Good memories!
Awakenings is one of the biggest parties in the world, with jam packed line ups each and every party it throws. Would you say that Awakenings stands out for you more than other shows? If so, Why?
I haven’t played Awakenings for a couple of years, before that I played there regularly, every year at least once. Think nine or 10 times in total.
Westergasfabriek is an amazing venue, one of the best out there and the festival is something special, since it’s an all techno festival.
Over the years they have made the production almost perfect, but in Holland there’s a professional festival and dance scene in general. Most promoters really take good care of condition for artists and crowd. Unfortunately I don’t play a lot in Holland, but every time I do it’s great. In the past years there have been some great new organisations that popped up, which are programming fresh and exciting new acts. I guess there’s a new generation of promoters who are taking care of a lot of great new initiatives.
Awakenings is one of a kind, but there’s a whole breed of exciting follow ups around the corner too these days. The Dutch dance/techno climate is very healthy right now and that’s great to see!
Rotterdam is known for its techno roots. Would you say that the city has influenced your style of music?
Of course, I think the city you live in has a big influence on you in lots of ways.
Rotterdam is a harbour city and when you look at harbour cities around the world, that usually comes with a certain mentality and mindset.
Rotterdam has a no nonsense attitude and the people are real. I wouldn’t want to live in any other city. Music-wise I have been really influenced by especially Speedy J, who has always been one of the key figures of the Rotterdam music scene.
Rotterdam is the city where Gabber was born and a lot of the music that was made here has this raw edge to it, that always appealed to me in all musical genres.
You played in The Grand Social about three months ago with the legendary Todd Terry and Ansome. Can you explain what it’s like to come to Ireland and perform?
Coming to Ireland is always a pleasure, which is mainly caused by the great attitude of the Irish people. Great people all around. Just check out the European Championship and see the positivity they brought into the tournament where some other countries’ hooligans were fucking things up again. I guess the Irish just know how to party hard.
I’m playing in Dublin this weekend, replacing Paula Temple at the Opium Rooms. Can’t wait to be back again!
Can you tell me what’s next for yourself?
Mord, well, the schedule is crazy and will be for a while, just too many good things to put out.
Have some new people coming up on the label, but I never announce more than the next release, so can’t really tell much about the schedule at this point, but there are some heavy hitters coming your way.
We’ve got many Mord nights coming up in Europe and I’m touring a lot myself too, playing around eight gigs a month and I’m enjoying it so much. Really appreciate the fact that I’m able to do this job. So big thanks to you all!